Why Healthcare Design?


I had a normal enough childhood.

Did well in school, lived on a dead-end road in a quiet neighborhood… a Rockwell setting you might say.  Those were the days when kids delivered newspapers just before sunrise.  And during the summer you left the house at 8 am and came back at 6 pm—just in time for dinner. The freedom of summer and the inspiration of the outdoors…that was where my fascination with creating architecture began.

The neighborhood kids and I created innumerous “tree forts” from bits of scrap wood we could scrounge from our dad’s stash in the garage. By the time we were twelve, we knew how far a 2×6 could safely span and had an eye for what looked good—even though the goal was to perch in the limbs without fear of falling as we built! I count myself lucky to have found my passion so early in life, for so many kids go through college not knowing what path they want to take. Architecture still holds me captive even now.  I grew to love its history as I studied at Syracuse University and abroad in Florence, Italy.  I think it’s because a tangible result is left behind from the process that keeps me continually challenged.  When I began my career, design work was primarily in historic residences. More learning led to more experience, which through the years has taken me from historic Yale University to hospitals throughout New England.

Maybe it was simply the opportunity or the challenge, but healthcare design has been my calling for the past 15-20 years. Not only do I feel the joy of seeing a finished product, but the signs of the healing environment truly captivates me. Often times, when I enter an existing clinical floor, the sheer craziness of bustling hospital staff can be overwhelming. They are often working in what many would call archaic settings, and although healthcare architecture is ultimately for the patient, the staff members are frequently the ones forgotten. The advances in patient medicine has evolved so much in the past few years, and the same should hold true for structures to best serve our nurses and technicians.

Recent and not so recent trends seen in Evidence Based Design, Planetree and others, instill the importance of integration (not only of technology but more importantly, family). This has led to a project process that is much more holistic than in the past. Project teams are gathering at the table and working together for a common goal and have resulted in much better healing environments.

I look forward to what the next 15 years will bring.

 

By Ron Goodin, LEED AP, BD + C
Senior Project Manager and Healthcare Prinicpal

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